The London Homelessness Awards are the country’s leading homelessness awards. They recognise and highlight innovative practice in the homelessness sector in London. Sponsored by the London Housing Foundation, Crisis, Shelter and the London Housing Directors the awards have a prize fund of £55,000, with £30,000 going to the wining project.
The awards are open to all projects in London working in the field of homelessness. This is not only the voluntary sector, but housing and social services departments, NHS and related public sector health organisations, registered social landlords, or a partnership of agencies.
Last year, the top prize was awarded to the Asylum Support Appeals Project based in Tower Hamlets. The project provides free legal representation to asylum seekers who are destitute.
Hazel Williams at ASAP said: “Winning the London Homelessness Award: in memory of Andy Ludlow was a huge honour for ASAP. It came at a time when government policy is particularly harsh towards homeless asylum seekers and was an enormous boost for our staff and volunteers in recognising the hard work and commitment they have dedicated over the years. What has also been so positive for us is having our work protecting human rights for asylum seekers recognised within the more mainstream homelessness sector. The very generous prize money has enabled us to get more destitute asylum seekers off the streets; we have been able to employ additional legal advisors to offer free legal advice and representation at the Tribunal. We have also used the money for research into destitution which we have used in our policy work to improve the protection for destitute asylum seekers”.
Second prize and £15,000 went to the Catering Trainee Scheme run by Providence Row. This is a project that trains homeless people in catering skills and the supports them into work and helps them access private rented accommodation.
Speaking about the award, Pam Orchard, Providence Row’s CEO said: “We are absolutely delighted to have our work acknowledged with this prestigious award. It truly is a testament to the hard work of our staff, the fantastic trainees we work with and supporting companies. We will use the prize fund to invest in expanding our training and employability programmes further, in order to help more of our clients back into work.”
Centrepoint received the third prize of £10,000 for their mini workwise programme that works with young people to hoe their job skills and help them into employment. Hafsah FitzGibbon of Centrepoint said
“Thanks to London Homelessness Awards we have trained and employed two Centrepoint former residents in our team! As Digital Research & Engagement Assistants they will be developing a brand new online community where former residents can get peer to peer support, advice and inspiration as they begin living life independently. Not only has the award enabled us to offer real employment opportunities to young people who have been homeless, but it’s helped us bring youth participation to the forefront of our work – building a resource for former residents, designed by former residents.”
As well as the prize money, each of the wining projects received PR and communications support from the London Housing Foundation to help them make the most of the award.
To find out more about the 2016 awards and to nominate your project, please go to our website https://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/thelondonhomelessnessawards